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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How Financial Stress Can Lead To The "D" Word

How Financial Stress Can Lead To The "D" Word
Jake and I were recently talking about how hard our first two years of marriage were, specifically the first year. We have publicly stated before that had we not taken Financial Peace University, we may not be married today. That statement is not something I am proud of, but it is also not much of an exaggeration!

Debt, finances, and no real money-management plan can cause a lot of stress on a relationship, and when that relationship is fairly new that stress can be hard to bear!

I remember there were times when we would just walk away from an argument and not speak because frustration, misunderstandings, and hurt had caused both of us real pain that we didn't know how to communicate.

Even after we started budgeting there were times that our financial meetings ended with me in tears and the hubby frustrated that we still weren't on the same page or that our money didn't seem to be doing what we wanted it to.

We had made a promise to each other to never mention divorce, not even jokingly. It is a word we just don't want in our vocabulary. Still, in the midst of those first couple years, we both contemplated how we were ever going to make this marriage work, and whether or not we even wanted to.

Fast forward to where we are now.

This summer has been amazing, not that our marriage still hasn't had its challenges, but because we've become more united in our goals. We've begun to cement as a team with a single vision of where we want to go with our finances, our family, with God.

When we decided to sell our house it was a huge relief to both of us. After living there for almost two years we realized that it was way more house than we needed, more work than we could handle, and really not in the location we wanted to be in. So, a few weeks ago, we packed up our bags and moved in with Jake's beautiful grandmother, one of the sweetest ladies you'll ever meet. The situation is mutually beneficial for all of us because having us there at the house helps Grandma and also gives us some time to save some money and invest a little more time in finding our dream home.

Some may consider moving in with family a step back, but for us it has been freeing. I don't completely regret buying our big old homestead because while we were living there we learned a lot about what we really want in a home, what we really need, and where we want to be.

The weirdest part about all of this, however, is that even though we're probably facing more stress than ever right now—with trying to sell the house, with Jake possibly losing his job soon—we're dealing with it much better than we would have a couple years ago. Instead of all this stress driving a wedge between us it has become something we can come together about, praying and trusting that God has a plan in it all, and being thankful that we do have that 3-6 months savings set aside for these uncertain moments in life.

I think the reason we are both so passionate about Financial Peace University is because of how it helped not only our finances but our marriage.

If you're facing marital problems, won't you let us pray for you? Click the contact button above. And if you'd like more information about Financial Peace University, ask us!

Keep pinchin'


  1. I know you guys have mentioned that you thought your farm house was your "forever home" when you first bought it (and God used it as a ministry, even for the short time your were living there, i.e. "The Penny Pinching Rap", etc.), but if living in our twenties (and thirties too, I am sure) has taught us anything, it is just how little we "know".

    We are in a similar situation. We actually really enjoy our home, but some time next year we have plans to move ten hours away, back closer to home (indeed, we will be living in the basement apartment constructed by my wife's parents).

    Two years ago when we bought our house, our desire was to "live in it until we die". We set to work paying extra mortgage payments, hoping to pay it off early (before the 15-year term) and be "debt free by thirty". We were even going to have a blog about all the sacrifices we would make in order to achieve that goal!

    But things change. Time ticks by, and we wanted to start a family. We miss our parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews. My wife became pregnant this year (woo-hoo!) and now we are looking to sell our home early next year, and move in with the in-laws for a time while I launch a freelance graphic/web design business that I can work on from home.

    We too, sometimes see this as a step backwards. It will be hard to leave a community and church that we have becomes pretty heavily involved in for the past five years. We will lose some independence.

    Life must be about priorities, though. What do we truly value? What lasts? What is worth saving for and spending on? Some of these things change with the seasons, but others never do.

    Stay committed to each other and committed to Dave's plan, but more importantly, stay committed to living for God's glory and treasuring the gift of Christ, and be sensitive to His call.

    And keep this blog going! You are both good and honest writers. Your ideas and humor may be making a larger eternal splash than you realize. :)

    1. Thanks for your words of encouragement, Todd! Hope your plans come together to move closer to family and sell your 'forever home'.

      We plan to keep up the blog as best as we are able at this season of life :-) ~Dani